The Maitreyayana Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1, January 2017
I have continued to align with the Goddess energy by facing the direction her star sits in this year (the SE) when I do all of my morning practices. My house is a temple that has multiple sacred images on all walls. My meditation seat faces a proper Tibetan Thanka of Medicine Master Buddha in the SE, and the space where I put my exercise mat for core exercises faces an image of White Parasol Buddha Mother adorned with a Rudraksha mala and a black silk hada, also towards the SE.
I have not yet been able to find a Chinese text of or about the Tai Xuan Jing that is worth focusing on. Those that I have found are either truncated, corrupted, or just pure damned Confucianist forgeries (because the scripture is Daoist and so the Confucianists deliberated corrupted it. They did the same thing to the Chinese Buddhist Tripitaka). What this really means is that I just don’t have enough Samadhi power yet to contact the true and authentic text. I know it’s out there and that I will find it when I’m ready.
The long-delayed third commentary on Maitreya Yoga, however, is now in the pipeline, and I will have it written and published shortly, I would say within a week.
Honolulu Chinatown Ginger Wars – A Cautionary Tale
1. Location, Location, Location!
Hawaii, at the center of the Pacific basin, is also culturally halfway between the East Asian and American cultural mainstreams. On both sides of the water, Hawaii is regarded as being among the most desirable places to live because of the unique advantages of a developed economy and culture that blends the best features of East and West. By almost any criterion, Hawaii is the best place on earth to grow old and to give back to your society from your own mature experience and intelligence, because of the mellow climate, the stablility and prosperity of the overarching American mainstream, and the Oriental respect for elders which exists here because the great majority of Hawaii’s population is Oriental anymore, and although their values are not exclusively dominant as they are in Asia itself, they are certainly strong enough in Hawaii to not only hold their own inside their own ethnic groups, but also to guide this State in a more evolutionary direction than can happen across the water in either direction.
It was the Japanese who established the State government which brought Hawaii into the Union, and they still dominate the local government. Yeah, they get challenged here and there, but nobody of any ethnicity is ever going to get seriously bent about them because they are just so good at including everybody in the benefits of good government. Unlike the Japanese in Japan, in other words, local Hawaiian Japanese are neither racially nor culturally exclusive, and they all speak fluent English and move freely in the American mainstream.
2. Backstory – the Chinese Diaspora in the Pacific
Cantonese speakers from south China started coming to America, including Hawaii, in the middle of the 19th century, usually in conditions that we would characterize today as “wage slavery.” The conditions on the Chinese mainland were so bad at the time, due to the perennially predatory and primitive nature of the Chinese government, that they preferred to be wage slaves in America rather than cannon fodder, eunuch nebishes, monks, and generally hopeless and helpless flunkeys of the oldest and most man-eating feudal system on earth, which were their choices in China. In Hawaii, however, the Chinese fared better than on the American mainland, because of the proximity to Asia and the multicultural nature of Hawaiian society, which literally goes all the way back to the beginning of human life here, because the Polynesian host culture here was throughly multicultural from the get-go.
So, to cut to the chase, we have a strong Chinese community here in Hawaii, and yes, they are secretive and suspicious, which is only what you expect with the background of periodically brutal supression that they have endured and survived. And despite all that, they still give back greatly to the general island community, and a large part of that is the opportunity to share in traditional Chinese culture in the mystical magical singularity which is Honolulu’s Chinatown.
The magic comes out of the fact that traditional Chinese culture is collective culture, the real article, both emotionally and physically, from the moment of birth as a Chinese individual, and in real time, from the moment you walk through the gate as a native Chinese person, somebody with a lot of Chinese karma like me, or an etherically sensitive Westerner in general. When you walk through that gate to Chinatown, it’s just like logging on, if you know how to use the Web to access the planetary mass mind, except that here, what you’re logging on to directly is the Chinse mass mind, a separately individuated entity which has the power of millennia of integrated mass consciousness and behavior behind it.
So again cutting to the chase, when I walk in Chinatown, I know in general what’s going on throughout the entire Chinese cultural sphere of influence, because there is this overwhelming Chinese tendency to all do the same thing at the same time, so any little old Chinese lady can literally tell you the current Party Line from Beijing just by her body language and facial expression, although she probably does not know that she can do that to you. And unlike their mouths, and especially their news media, Chinese body language and autonomous mugging do not lie. What you see there is what they really think, believe, and know.
So now finally I feel ready to start in on the other reason why I go to Chinatown: the best and least expensive food in the entire State, and thence to the long hand of the Chinese mainland.
3. If it ain’t busted, don’t fix it!
The original Chinese who came to Hawaii were out of south Chinese commerical families, some of which had, and still have, literally millennia of accumulated experience and commercial capital and credit behind them. Members of such families who have fallen on hard times do have this disconcerting tendency to get found and saved by the reigning “Elder Brother,” with the result that hard times got thrown out with the trash the very next day, and suddenly what you thought was a hopeless wimp is now the leader of a Tong that can buy whole city blocks of downtown Honolulu to build God knows what. What I’m trying to stess here with this riff is that in this little matter of wealth and commercial viability, there is really no substitute for real experience on the ground through time. None! And that’s what exists in Honolulu’s Chinatown, and has so existed continuously for the better part of two centuries. So if they really know how to succeed at this game, and have demonstrated that fact for so long, naturally we’ve just going to leave them alone as long as they’re law-abiding, right?
Only right if you’re American. If you’re Chinese and your “Elder Brother,” happens to be named Xi Jinping, what will inevitably be right for you (and your entire extended family on the Chinese mainland) is the most poisonous load of commerical stupidity ever concocted by a human being. And you will know that no matter how stupid it is, it will still be right because if you disagree, members of your family will be disappeared and tortured to death.
4. Case in Point
There are three different sources of ginger in Chinatown, easily distinguished by appearance: SE Asian, local (mostly grown by local Taiwanese), and Chinese mainland. The mainland variety is the newcomer, and it appeared several years ago in a context in which ginger prices were stable and collectively determined. There were variations through time, primarily because of seasonal variability, but the price of ginger was fixed across Chinatown. All merchants were being held to the same price, regardless of the quality of their stocks, by group consensus.
But when the Chinese mainland ginger first appeared, what happened? It was just like Chinese steel dumping. First they undercut the existing market by selling at half the fixed price. A month later, having driven all competition from the market, they then quadrupled their price to double the pre-existing fixed price, and guess what? Chinese mainland ginger rotted in the bins, in full view of all the gaping masses of all ethnic groups, despite the complete and continued absence of one other ginger root in all of Chinatown. The locals and the SE Asians had pulled all their ginger out of Chinatown, and blamed it on the mainlanders, who had destabilized the price, and the result was that “our suppliers won’t give us credit.” The majority of the customers who visit Chinatown are either sensitive enough to feel this kind of stuff going in, or they’ve learned the hard way to just leave Chinatown alone when it gets that wierd, so the mainlanders suddenly found themselves without either competition or buyers. Duh!
Seriously, I’ve never seen anything so profoundly stupid in my entire life. Did the mainlanders think that there was no place but Chinatown to buy ginger on O’ahu? Even Safeway sells fresh island ginger, for God’s sake, and at that point they were underselling Chinatown on one of the most essential ingredients in Oriental food. It also didn’t help those stupid Chinese mainland merchants that mainland Chinese ginger is neither as delicious nor as fresh as the local product.
Today, mainland Chinese ginger has established itself as a staple in Chinatown, and it sells at the collective fixed price just like that of all good Chinese merchants, and it has also penetrated the American mainstream market as well. But half the mainland Chinese merchandizers who involved themselves in that stupid ginger scam are gone from Chinatown, and I believe that this example of what happens when mainland China dumps commodities will generalize to the entire planet and the entire commodity market, and that Xi Jinping will ultimately be among those who lose their jobs as a result .
Maitreya Meher Namo Namo,